Welcome to Blackpast

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Welcome to BlackPast

BlackPast is dedicated to providing reliable information on the history of Black people across the globe, and especially in North America. Our goal is to promote greater understanding of our common human experience through knowledge of the diversity of the Black experience and the ubiquity of the global Black presence. 

The Official Black History Month

To Kick-off Black History Month 2023 we share an article on the history of the celebration by Daryl Michael Scott, PhD., professor of United State History and chair of the Department of History, Geography, and Museum Studies at Morgan State University. He is also the former President and Vice President for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

cover of Negro History Week: 19th annual celebration beginning February 13, 1944

The story of Black History Month begins in Chicago during the late summer of 1915. An alumnus of the University of Chicago with many friends in the city, Carter G. Woodson traveled from Washington, D.C. to participate in a national celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of emancipation sponsored by the state of Illinois. Thousands of African Americans traveled from across the country to see exhibits highlighting the progress their people had made since the destruction of slavery. Awarded a doctorate in Harvard three years earlier, Woodson joined the other exhibitors with a Black history display. Despite being held at the Coliseum, the site of the 1912 Republican convention, an overflow crowd of six to twelve thousand waited outside for their turn to view the exhibits. Inspired by the three-week celebration, Woodson decided to form an organization to promote the scientific study of Black life and history before leaving town. On September 9, 1915, Woodson met at the Wabash YMCA with Alexander L. JacksonGeorge Cleveland HallWilliam B. Hartgrove, and James E. Stamps to form the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). Continue reading here.

VISIT OUR DISPLAY AT THE 2023 BLACK HISTORY MONTH MUSEUM AT COLUMBIA CITY THEATER, SEATTLE.  If you’re in the Seattle area come visit our display at the “Call to Conscience” – Black History Month Museum at the Columbia Avenue Theater, Feb 1-28, 2023.

“CALL TO CONSCIENCE” IS A VISUAL CELEBRATION OF BLACK HISTORY. Ours centers “slave rebellions and revolts” across the American continent and the Caribbean on which we have written entries on BlackPast.org, which represent a small fraction of the over 250 documented acts of resistance by enslaved people in the New World. The maps display provides a visual representation of Africans’ determined resistance to enslavement in the New World, which would eventually make sustaining the trade and New World plantations uneconomical for countries like Great Britain and France.

We want you to also contemplate the scale of the slave trade as you look at the vast stretches of territory in which this labor system prevailed for centuries. Then step back and appreciate the importance of slavery to the growth of New World economies by the 19th century.

Black History Month for Kids: Why We Celebrate Black History Month

Our Black History Month Resources Page

EXPLORE MORE OF OUR CATALOG

Black Educators, Thinkers, & Institutions of Knowledge

New World Slavery

Global Black History - The Portuguese-Speaking (Lusophone) Sphere

Perspectives: Essays on African American and Global Black History

BLACKPAST KIDS

Encyclopedia

BLACKPAST SOCIAL MEDIA #BlackPastClassroom

HEY TEACHERS! We’re growing our resources for educators and would like to hear from you about your experiences teaching Black history either in the compulsory or post-secondary sector.  What are some best practices you can share? What online and/or physical resources do you find useful. What have been/are the challenges of teaching Black history? Did the pandemic change the environment for content diversity for better or worse? Tag your posts with #BlackPastClassroom and let’s share resources with everyone!

JOIN OUR ONLINE BOOK CLUB NOW SSIGN-UP CLOSES ON 2/14/2023!

Our first book is about the 19th century Bambara polity, Segu, written by the Guadeloupe-born French writer, Maryse Condé.

black and white photo of Palais d;Ahmadou in the kingom of SeguMaryse Condemap of SegouSégou cover with french text

The year is 1797. A White man is spotted approaching the gates to the kingdom of Segu and Dousika Traore, the king’s most trusted court advisor, is summoned to the palace. His concubine Sira goes into labor while the entire household is away trying to catch a glimpse of the foreigner. Meanwhile, Samake, a fellow council member and Dousika’s arch-enemy, devises a plot to destroy him. Over the coming years, Tiekoro, Dousika’s first-born son covertly embraces Islam and travels to Timbuktu accompanied by Siga, Dousika’s son by an enslaved woman.  His third son, Naba is kidnapped by slavers and sold, while youngest son Malobali, who’s birth is over-shadowed by the arrival of the white man, becomes a mercenary, raping and pillaging his way through the Ashanti kingdom.

 “Condé’s Segu is a real place and her novel is based on historical events. What makes the book “classic” is her seamless blend of hard fact and mesmerising fiction.” Malcolm Forbes  (the nationalnews.com)

Buy your copy here


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